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Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres


"'Assume that in 30 minutes you will stop being president. I will take your place. Prepare me. Teach me how to be president,' (Michael) Lewis, who interviewed President Obama multiple times over six months—on Air Force One, in the Oval Office, and on the basketball court—asks ... 'Nothing comes to my desk that is perfectly solvable,' Obama tells Lewis. 'Otherwise, someone else would have solved it. So you wind up dealing with probabilities. Any given decision you make you’ll wind up with a 30 to 40 percent chance that it isn’t going to work. You have to own that and feel comfortable with the way you made the decision. You can’t be paralyzed by the fact that it might not work out. One of my most important tasks is making sure I stay open to people, and the meaning of what I’m doing, but not to get so overwhelmed by it that it’s paralyzing. Option one is to go through the motions. That I think is a disaster for a president. But there is the other danger,' Obama tells Lewis. 'There are times when I have to save it and let it out at the end of the day.'" (VanityFair)

 

"The government of Uzbekistan recently declared 2012 the Year of the Strong Family. As part of this official campaign, Uzbek citizens are being compelled to participate in a '1,000 Weddings and 1,000 Circumcisions' campaign being held throughout the country. Given that the festival was organized by a foundation run by autocratic President Islam Karimov's ever-present daughter Gulnara, Uzbeks could be forgiven for wondering whether the bizarre event was actually meant to celebrate one family in particular. In fact, the country's citizens have been compelled to celebrate the strength of the Karimovs for the last two decades. Uzbekistan is not alone in its region. In the absence of democratic institutions, the power of presidential families is often the bond that holds many Eurasian dictatorships together. Commentators often speculate on whether post-Soviet leaders are grooming their children as successors, in the style of the Kims or Qaddafis, but the scions of these regimes are already playing their part. In addition to serving as occasional ambassadors abroad or members of rubber-stamp parliaments, these children often function as crucial players in the regimes' tight grip on the economy, acting as extensions of their fathers' administrations in the business sector and beyond. Here's a tour through the stories of Eurasia's wealthiest ruling families ..." (ForeignPolicy)

  "Howard (Stern) said his buddy Jimmy Kimmel is being moved to 11:35pm so he will be up against Leno and Letterman. Howard said he knew about this a few days ago but he wasn't allowed to say anything. Howard said he has been doing very well in the ratings and he loves the guy. He said he's truly happy for the guy. He said he works very hard on his show and this is a time in history when Leno and Letterman haven't had stellar ratings. Howard said Jimmy's are the only ratings that have gone up. Howard said ABC is giving him the vote of confidence they need to. Howard said they're flipping Nightline to after Jimmy's show. Howard said Jimmy's show took in like $82 million last year while NBC took in $150 million and CBS had $154 million. Howard said that Jimmy could bring ABC up by 20 million and it would be worth the move ... Howard said that Jimmy's show is going to make more money and it'll be interesting to see how he does. Howard asked Fred who he thinks his show is going to hurt. Fred said it'll be Letterman but he'll also hurt Leno. He said he thinks that within two years he'll be beating both. Robin agreed that it will hurt Letterman. She said that's where the hip audience is. Howard said the answer is that he'll beat both of them but it will take a little while. He said he's confident in that decision. He said Jimmy is going to host the Emmys too ... Howard said Kelly Ripa's co-host is going to be Michael Strahan but that was leaked out. He said that shocked him. He said he thought that was a white man's show." (Marksfriggin)


"Last times but not lost forever. Over the past few days, two friends died, marking or indicating the end of a time, an age, for this history of mine. Elizabeth Fondaras, known as 'Liz' to her many friends, died at home here at 2 East 70th. She was 96 last March and despite handicaps created by the vagaries of old age, I saw Liz only a little more than a month ago at the ballet ... We met at dinners, at parties, at benefits. We were sometimes dinner partners and I was occasionally a guest when she entertained at home. What distinguished her from many in such intermittent relationships, is that Liz was always warmly friendly. Not unsophisticated but nevertheless with a real down-home American personality. In other words, there was nothing fancy in her self-presentation. There needn’t be: she was comfortable with herself ... Liz was born in Boston on March 19, 1916 – Elizabeth Temple Robertson, a descendent of an old Virginia family. I learned that from the Times obit and it explained her natural, understated but thorough graciousness. She married first to a wealthy lumberman named Charles Miller from the Northwest. Mr. Miller left her a widow early, and she moved to Paris where she lived for ten years in grand style in an apartment in the Hotel Lambert on the Ile Saint-Louis. Her life in Paris had a profound influence on her. It was there that she met and married another American, Theodore Weicker Jr. of the Squibb Pharmaceutical fortune. The Weickers moved back to New York where Mr. Weicker was in the stock brokerage business." (NYSocialDiary)


"Anna Wintour will be squaring off with former French Vogue editor Carine Roitfeld when Roitfeld launches her new magazine, CR Fashion Book, on Sept. 13. The fashion world’s bracing for a battle, reveals Page Six Magazine — with one insider even claiming the top editrixes can’t be seated near, or across from, one another during Fashion Week. 'Anna’s not worried,' says stylist Phillip Bloch. 'It’s more like, ‘Ugh, that pest is here. Guess I’m not getting rid of her anytime soon.’ ' Jerry Oppenheimer, who penned a book on Wintour, agrees. 'Anna is an institution, and Carine, who seems to be going through some sort of a career midlife crisis, is never going to usurp Anna’s immense political power and editorial clout,' he says." (PageSix)

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